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Posted: November 9th, 2022
This essay can be an evaluation of my social work follow in my current placement at Murston Main Faculty in Sittingbourne, Kent. This piece is a reflective piece on my time at this faculty and the problems I encountered whereas I used to be there. To be able to accomplish this, this essay can be damaged down into a number of sections.
The primary part will function an introduction to the location setting. It is going to present a quick overview of the varsity and the realm of Sittingbourne. The subsequent part will transfer on to have a look at a number of the points that I encountered throughout my time on the faculty. Faculties provide an attention-grabbing space of examine for social employees as a result of as a colleague of mine argued, “each concern comes by way of these faculty gates”. This essay will think about a few of these points and the way they’re resolved in this setting. It is going to think about a number of the theories at play in this surroundings and look at what works properly and what doesn’t work so properly with regards to practising social work in colleges. I’ll reference particular examples from my very own time there as an instance this. The third part of this essay will then flip to take a wider view of a number of the points at play in phrases of getting social employees in colleges. Though social work placements in colleges are pretty commonplace today, they nonetheless do elevate some pretty particular points.
All through this essay, the main target has to stay on the service customers, in this case the pupils on the faculty and to a lesser extent their dad and mom and the way their wants are being met. It is going to think about how anti-oppressive practices are at play in this setting and the way profitable they’re. I need this piece to be a reflective piece. Reflection is a key part of studying inside the caring professions because it forces you to critically analyse and consider what you’ll have completed in another way and what you’ll do in another way must you encounter the identical or an analogous conditions once more. It might be helpful to use my experiences to a selected mannequin of reflection as it’s going to assist me higher perceive what I’ve learnt and assist me to be essential about sure elements of the expertise as an entire. The reflective mannequin I’ve chosen to make use of for this essay is Borton’s (1970) Developmental Mannequin for Reflective Follow. It’s one among various fashions I might have chosen (John’s mannequin of reflection,1994; Kolb’s studying cycle, 1984; Atkins and Murphy’s mannequin of reflection, 1994; Gibbs’ mannequin of reflection, 1988 ) however Borton’s mannequin most accurately fits my goal.
The mannequin that Borton devised is predicated on Three separate parts that work in a sequential, cyclical order. The primary stage is the descriptive stage, or the ‘what?’. It makes the practitioner think about what the difficulty was, what their position in it was, and what the response was to the actions taken? The second stage is the ‘so what?’. This forces the practitioner to contemplate the idea and data constructing that’s a necessary a part of reflection. What do the occasions inform or educate one in regards to the service person, about myself and in regards to the mannequin of care that I’m making use of. What was I feeling on the time and did these feeling have an effect on my actions? What might I’ve completed in another way if offered with the identical state of affairs once more and the way has my understanding modified because of what I’ve been by way of. The ultimate stage of this mannequin is the ‘now what?’. This stage seems at how the state of affairs will be bettered in the longer term. That is when broader points could come into play.
Murston Main Faculty in Sittingbourne, Kent is a combined, non-denominational faculty with roughly 140 college students. As a result of a nursery faculty was opened final yr, it now caters for college kids aged between Three and 11. Nearly all of the scholars are white British however there are just a few college students from minority ethnic backgrounds. The inhabitants which it serves is pretty secure however non permanent housing in the native space means there may be some extent of transience and a few pupils becoming a member of in Years 1 and a pair of have had no earlier expertise of faculty. A excessive proportion of pupils at this faculty have been recognized as having studying difficulties and/or disabilities. Their wants relate largely to studying, speech and language difficulties, behavioural, emotional and social wants, autism and bodily incapacity. A current Ofsted report rated the varsity nearly as good. The report said that the varsity, “supplies a very good commonplace of training inside a really secure, caring household ambiance” (Ofsted, 2008: p. four).
The college is in the Borough of Swale. Whereas a lot of this borough is pretty prosperous, there are just a few pockets of deprivation. Sittingbourne is one among these areas. That is mirrored by the properly above common take up of free faculty meals.
This essay will now give attention to three problems with the numerous points that I encountered in my time at Murston Main Faculty. These are bullying, the inclusion of youngsters with autism and at last self-harm. I’ve chosen these three areas to give attention to as a result of they’re three fairly numerous points. Bullying is one that’s extensively coated and is a typical downside in most colleges in the UK. The inclusion of youngsters with autism is a rising space of examine as increasingly is discovered about this dysfunction. Self-harm amongst younger kids is an space that’s usually ignored due to the stigma that it nonetheless holds in our society. Nonetheless, it’s a very actual downside and one which I encountered throughout my time at Murston Main Faculty.
Bullying is, “an unlucky actuality which happens throughout disparate cultures and academic settings at about the identical charge” (Carney and Merrell, 2001: p. 364). Hazler (1996) defines bullying as, “repeatedly (not simply a few times) harming others. This may be completed by bodily assault or hurting others’ emotions by way of phrases, actions or social exclusion. Bullying could also be completed by one particular person or by a gaggle. It’s an unfair match because the bully is both bodily, verbally and/or socially stronger than the sufferer”.
Bullying has been recognized as one of many high issues that oldsters have about their kids’s security when at college. In response, the federal government has made tackling the issue of bullying a high precedence. The Division for Youngsters, Faculties and Households (DCFS) not too long ago printed, Secure to Study: Embedding Anti-Bullying Work in Faculties (2007). This report units out a framework for colleges to make use of in formulating anti-bullying methods. A certain quantity of leeway is given to varsities to formulate their very own responses to bullying however there are particular parts that each one anti-bullying programmes ought to include. The victims of bullying ought to have the ability to be heard; they need to know the way to report bullying and get assist; they need to be assured in the flexibility of the varsity to cope with the issue; they need to really feel assured that steps are being taken to assist them really feel secure; they will obtain assist to rebuild their confidence they usually should know that they will obtain help from others. These concerned in bullying should bear in mind that there are sanctions and studying programmes that can maintain them to account for his or her behaviour and assist them realise the hurt they’ve prompted. These pupils should develop their emotional abilities in order that they will be taught to behave in ways in which gained’t trigger hurt to others. In addition they should learn to restore the injury they’ve prompted. The college as an entire must be clear in regards to the anti-bullying stance. There must be a collaborative effort between workers members and pupils to develop the anti-bullying work in the varsity. All pupils should be clear that they will forestall bullying. Most significantly maybe, anti-bullying must be considered a collaborative effort not simply inside the faculty however with different colleges inside the space and with different companies.
Not as a lot consideration is given to the issue of bullying in main colleges as a lot of the main target is on the transition that pupils make once they transfer from the smaller, extra private surroundings of a main faculty to the bigger, and far much less supportive secondary faculty surroundings (Eccles, Wigfield, & Schiefele, 1998). Pellegrini and Lengthy (2002) argue that bullying throughout this transition is, “a deliberate technique used to achieve dominance as kids enter a brand new social group” (p. 260). Nonetheless, one other reason behind bullying is the fast modifications that happen in physique dimension. That is particularly the case for boys. Pellegrini and Bartini (2001) argue that these modifications result in a reorganisation of social dominance hierarchies. The larger the boy is, the extra dominant he turns into over his smaller friends. This variation is often witnessed in secondary faculty as puberty doesn’t happen in males till the early years of secondary faculty. Hazler (1996) argues that bullying is most typical between the ages of 9 and 15. There was a baby at Murston Main Faculty who was a lot bodily greater than most of the different boys in the varsity who had had a historical past of pretty violent behaviour in direction of a number of the different boys in the varsity.
I’ll consult with this boy as John. John is 11 and is in yr six, so he’s in his closing yr at Murston. He’s from a minority ethnic background and he solely joined the varsity the yr beforehand. John has been recognized as having some studying difficulties as his studying stage and language ranges are properly under what they need to be at his age. He’s additionally a recipient of free faculty meals. John has had difficulties in adjusting to Murston and has been bullying two college students in specific. Murston has a properly developed anti-bullying plan which is very vital contemplating the excessive proportion of susceptible college students with studying difficulties and/or disabilities. The college has a trainer who’s in cost of the anti-bullying programme. She is well-known to all the opposite workers and pupils. She is a properly favored member of workers by the pupils and he or she has an open door coverage the place college students are made to really feel welcome. This coverage could also be so profitable as a result of as Smith and Shu (2001) argue, youthful kids usually tend to inform somebody once they witness bullying. Different lecturers are required to inform her if they think anybody of being bullied or bullying. Generally she is ready to efficiently mediate between the 2 events with parental involvement in all instances. Nonetheless, in excessive instances she’s going to contact the LEA who will first ship a social employee to work with the 2 events after which an academic psychologist. I used to be capable of observe one among her classes with John and in addition his academic psychologist who had been concerned from when the issue had first been recognized.
Olweus (1993) argues that generally workers at college can mannequin bullying behaviour by belittling and threatening college students. This was definitely not the case at Murston. John had not learnt this behaviour from his lecturers. John was not a well-liked member of faculty. That is supported by Carney and Merrell (2001) who state that, “in early grades bullies are inclined to get pleasure from common or considerably under common recognition amongst friends” (p. 370). John additionally bullied alone which is opposite to most of the theories of bullying that recommend that bullies are inclined to bully in teams (Smith and Shu, 2001). It turned clear that John was performing out as a result of he was having emotions of inadequacy because of language ranges being a lot decrease than most of the different kids in the category. He felt excluded from lots of his friends and bullying was a method of eliminating his frustration.
It might be helpful to briefly apply Borton’s (1970) Developmental Mannequin for Reflective Follow to this expertise. This essay has adequately coated the ‘what?’ to this point. I felt that the varsity was dealing with the issue properly and had been recognising that some instances require outdoors assist. As a result of it had taken the academic psychologist many classes to construct up belief with John, I wasn’t capable of take part totally as the varsity felt they had been at fairly a fragile stage with John. Nonetheless, simply from observing I learnt in regards to the frustrations that trigger bullying. Murston Main Faculty is in fairly an advantageous place with regards to bullying. Being so small, it’s simple to establish issues once they come up and it’s doable to cope with issues extra successfully. I don’t assume they will do way more in their anti-bullying programme.
The second concern this essay will take a look at is the inclusion of youngsters with autism spectrum dysfunction in colleges. This time period covers a spread of developmental problems from autism to Asperger syndrome. This essay will give attention to autism as a result of there have been a number of kids at Murston Main Faculty with autism. There are three distinct behaviours that characterise autism. The primary is that autistic kids have issue with social interplay. Secondly, autistic kids expertise issues with verbal and nonverbal communication. The ultimate characterising attribute of this dysfunction is uncommon, repetitive and really restricted pursuits. Barnard (2002) states that the speed of autism spectrum dysfunction reported by lecturers is 3 times increased in main colleges than it’s in secondary colleges. Autism is classed as a gentle studying dysfunction and due to this, kids struggling kind it are inspired to go to mainstream colleges akin to Murston.
Inclusion is a contentious concern in academic circles. It implies, “Inclusion implies a restructuring of mainstream education that each faculty can accommodate each little one no matter incapacity” (Avramidis and Norwich, 2002: p. 131). The concept first got here to the general public consideration with the publication of the Warnock Report in 1978. Croll and Moses (2000) state that, “help for the precept of inclusion of all kids in mainstream neighbourhood colleges has achieved widespread help, at the least at a rhetorical stage” (p. four). It’s usually seen as the best however a perfect that’s not totally achievable. The essential aspect to inclusion is how the lecturers reply to it. Avramidis and Norwich (2002) argue that, “lecturers’ beliefs and attitudes are essential in guaranteeing the success of inclusive practices since lecturers’ acceptance of the coverage of inclusion is more likely to have an effect on their dedication to implementing it” (p. 130). The view in the UK was pretty constructive. Clough and Lindsay (1991) discovered that on the entire lecturers had been pretty pleased with inclusion, supplied the help was in place for them. Nonetheless, inclusion is now extensively seen as considerably of a failure. Faculties wish to appear to be they’re inclusive, however they’ve but to make sufficient provisions for pupils with particular academic wants. A 2004 Ofsted report entitled, Particular academic wants and incapacity: in direction of inclusive colleges, helps this view.
There are various concern surrounding the inclusion of autistic kids in bizarre state colleges. Murston is an inclusive faculty and an inclusive faculty that in contrast to many different colleges is ready to cater to the wants of scholars with autism. Barnard et al. (2000) state that inclusive colleges, “should be sure that applicable studying or different constructive experiences happen. It isn’t merely about the place a person is educated or receives providers or help; it’s in regards to the high quality of such a service or help. Inclusive training is a course of involving the restructuring of the curriculum and classroom organisation” (p. 6). Murston is definitely properly geared up to cope with the calls for positioned upon them by these pupils. The college has realised that to adequately meet the wants of its service customers it must contain the experience of different companies. Enter has been sought from various specialist professions together with academic psychologists, speech, language and occupational therapists. Instructing assistants have obtained further coaching in coping with kids with autism and there are common workshops for lecturers as properly. Not solely are the lecturers properly skilled, however there are a selection of intervention programmes in operation to assist not solely the scholars with autism but additionally with out autism. The 2008 Ofsted report made particular point out of the provisions that Murston presents these college students by stating that, “excellent care, steering and help imply pupils are exceptionally properly taken care of. Employees cater for everybody’s wants very properly, together with these kids who’re significantly susceptible” (p. 5). Barnard et al (2000) argue that oldsters are happiest when colleges recognise the person wants of their little one. From my time at Murston, I’d say that this can be a precedence for the varsity.
As with the difficulty of bullying, Murston is in a reasonably advantageous place because of it’s dimension. It is ready to provide such unbelievable help as a result of it has a comparatively small variety of college students. Though it does have a better proportion of scholars with autism than many different colleges in the realm, a lot of the lecturers I spoke to appeared very constructive in regards to the work they had been capable of do.
It’s doable to use Borton’s (1970) Developmental Mannequin for Reflective Follow to my expertise of inclusion. I bought to help in just a few courses and on various cases helped out the kids with autism. I didn’t really feel sufficiently skilled to cope with a few of their extra particular issues. Nonetheless, my expertise did educate me the significance of treating every little one as a person. I really feel that Murston has a very good system in place, aided by the truth that it’s a very small faculty. It might be helpful for them to have the ability to share a few of their data with different colleges in the native space. This essay will now think about the ultimate concern that I encountered in my time at Murston Main Faculty.
Deliberate self-harm is when somebody injures or harms themselves on goal. This will take many types. It will possibly vary from taking an overdose to chopping or burning oneself. Gunnell et al (2000) declare that it’s a downside that’s rising and affecting extra younger folks than ever earlier than. Due to the social stigma hooked up to it, it’s usually an issue that goes unreported and as such there aren’t any laborious statistics about it. Nonetheless, a 2004 report printed by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics estimates that about 1 in 12 kids and younger folks intentionally self-harm. This results in properly over 24,000 hospitalisations yearly.
There are quite a few the explanation why kids and younger folks self-harm. If the person is feeling apprehensive, trapped and helpless by an issue they could be having, self-harm is a method of regaining management of the state of affairs. Self-harm can be a method of relieving pressure. Youngsters generally lack the mandatory language abilities to really specific their feelings. This results in them bottling up their emotions. The one method of releasing these is thru self-harm. Thirdly, self-harm is usually a type of punishment if the kid or younger particular person is feeling responsible about one thing they could have completed or witnessed. Lastly, self-harm could also be a method of serving to the kid to really feel related after the emotional numbness that always follows a traumatic occasion.
Self-harm is commonly seen as one thing that ladies do. Younger et al (2007) don’t associate with this assumption. They argue that whereas girls usually tend to take this behaviour ahead into later life, ranges are comparable between younger ladies and boys. Boys are inclined to favour the extra violent strategies whereas ladies are much less violent. One may anticipate that this exercise is increased amongst folks from decrease socio-economic backgrounds as properly however West and Sweeting (2004) dispute this. They argue that in precise truth this isn’t the case. Ranges of well being are the identical throughout all teams of youngsters and yond folks in right now’s society.
Whereas I used to be at Murston Main Faculty, there was proof woman in yr 6 had been intentionally self-harming. I felt that the state of affairs was handled very properly by the workers on the faculty. The issue was recognized rapidly and pointers primarily based on a Royal Faculty of Psychiatrists truth sheet had been adopted. The coed was made to really feel snug and it quickly transpired that her mom had been fairly significantly in poor health for a while. Her case was referred on to social providers and her GP however once more, the worth of treating this woman as a person meant that she was capable of speak in confidence to workers in the primary place. Self-harming behaviour is a sign that one thing goes significantly unsuitable in the lifetime of that younger particular person. There aren’t any fast fixes to this downside. I really feel that the varsity has a greater than sufficient care construction to cope with this downside.
General I felt my expertise at Murston Main Faculty was very constructive. I bought to witness firsthand all kinds of points that have an effect on the scholars on a each day foundation. I solely selected the three examples above as I felt they gave a sign of the big variety of points that exist in a faculty setting. Having social employees in faculty continues to be a comparatively new idea in many components of the nation. I felt that possibly this faculty was not set-up to have a full time social employee on the workers however I don’t assume it wanted one because it was a really small faculty. Nonetheless, I do realise the worth of faculties working with social providers, particularly in areas akin to Sittingbourne that do have pretty excessive ranges of deprivation. There are a variety of points that come up from this and colleges, working in collaboration with social providers and different native companies are finest geared up to deal with these issues of social exclusion.
A lot of the workers in the varsity had been joyful to permit me to shadow them however I felt a certain quantity of hostility from some workers as a result of it felt like I used to be wanting over their shoulder and questioning their strategies. This was not the case, for probably the most half I used to be merely observing. I didn’t really feel it prudent to get entangled in most instances as a result of I had no data of the background and in many instances the pupils already had various folks from the caring professions already working for them. I used to be capable of provide my assist and experience when it was required however for probably the most half I used to be joyful to watch the interactions inside this advanced and difficult surroundings.
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